There is no substitute for game action.
With the Hillsboro girls’ basketball team manufacturing a 34-17 lead over Halstead by halftime, before stretching that lead to the final margin of 66-30, Addie Lackey had plenty of time to work on different aspects of her game.
She started the game by driving and the kicking out passes to Hillsboro shooters including two for wide-open Maci Schlehuber 3-pointers from both wings. Schlehuber had 10 points in the game.
Then she decided she would work on her own shooting, driving hard to get a Halstead defender moving and then stepping back behind the 3-point arc for a jumper.
Raining from downtown is fun, but Lackey decided she wanted higher percentage shots. She started driving into the lane, using a crossover, moving the ball between hands with blinding speed, to get past defenders.
She was not going to neglect her defense either, securing a variety of steals. She had one by taking the ball right from her man, another by tapping the ball away when helping a teammate.
Once in the open floor she attempted a variety of layups. On some, she would go up strong, in one instance backing into a closing guard on a double team and pushing the ball to the rim with both hands. In another spot, a Halstead defender closed into the middle of the paint with Lackey still at full speed — she spun off that defender before being fouled.
Lackey’s total damage on the night: 10 points, 6 assists, 4 steals, and 3 rebounds. Another day at the gym. Hillsboro head coach Nathan Hiebert once described Lackey as a gym rat and she rarely misses an open gym at Hillsboro, a chance to shoot and work on her game.
The reason Lackey tried all those different shots? She said she might need one of them in a much closer future game.
The Trojans performed this same exercise a team on Tuesday. After spending the entire first quarter playing man-to-man defense, Hillsboro switched it up with a 1-3-1 and 2-3 zones throughout the rest of the game, sometimes using a trap. Hiebert usually prefers to play man with an athletic team at his disposal. However, he said he is not averse to playing zones if only to confuse an opponent.
Hillsboro ran every play in its repertoire, including a seldom-used stack screen at the top of the key that Danae Bina capitalized on with an open 3-pointer and a play where two Hillsboro forwards setup in the high post and then cut the length of the lane simultaneously.
Bina had 14 points for Hillsboro. Tena Loewen led the team with 16 points, adding five rebounds and three steals. Senior forward Christina Morris had seven points and five rebounds.
After the first round of sub-state, starting Feb. 25, the lopsided blowouts will be over and the Trojans will have an opportunity to use these tactics against battle-tested opponents.